Melvin Williams, who played the deacon on The Wire was once a powerful Baltimore drug kingpin. Known as "Little Melvin" in certain circles, Williams was sent to federal prison in the 1980's for orchestrating a large-scale drug trade enterprise in Baltimore. Towards the end of his sentence, Williams found a new lease on life through religion. After his release, Williams was sent back to prison in 2000 for a gun conviction, but was released in 2003. He is currently on parole and cannot go further than 40 miles from Baltimore without special permission.